Tuesday, 3 July 2007

JYP’s in the business of making stars

The Chosun Ilbo interviewed Park Jin-young (박진영) a.k.a JYP at his spanking new JYP USA Manhattan office recently, and the songwriter/singer/Rain’s mentor talked about his upcoming plans, his secret for making an international superstar and why he regrets not teaching Rain enough English.

The 35-year-old already has five trainees under JYP USA and said that the company’s aim is to nurture (manufacture, perhaps? Heh heh) high-quality stars who “can meet the global standard.”

“We’re going to develop global stars who can attract US customers,” JYP said. “There are currently three Korean and two Chinese trainees getting lessons in dance, English and vocals.”

The three Koreans under his wing are 16-year-old Min, who has already recorded eight songs with him and American producer Lil Jon, Lim Jeong-hee and G-soul.

So what does it take to become a star?

“A consistent image can create stars with high-added value. Physical appearance, hairstyle, costume, dance, music, marketing, music video and even interviews should be closely related under a single image,” said JYP, who is also known as The Asian Soul.

The producer also believes that to be an international star, one has to have the capability to win over the Chinese and US audience.

“I think three types of people can be global stars: Chinese who speak English (whoa, I’m in luck! Yesss!), Americans who speak Chinese and Koreans who speak Chinese and English.”

Now you know why his protégés are either Koreans or Chinese, huh?

JYP also revealed that he regrets not teaching Rain (his most successful protégé so far) enough English.

“When the New York Times published an article about Rain, interview requests from many big broadcasters flooded in, but Rain needed a translator at the time and that became a major stumbling block. If Rain had been able to speak fluent English then, he would be a superstar in the US now.”

Maybe Mr. Park, maybe. But I beg to differ as recent reports show that Rain’s stumbling block isn’t a lack of language skills. Even if he spoke the Queen’s English, it wouldn’t get his unfinished L.A. stage completed or prevent all those pesky lawsuits. However, he could perhaps use his fantastic English to swear at all those who were out to sabotage him.



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